Do not neglect Friendship

It was only a matter of time before I posted a picture of my pets; Taliesin the dog, and Eira the cat. This pictures sums up in quite a nice way my idea of friendship; someone who is different to you (cat and dog) yet is the same (an animal) and yet you can trust each other even with your eyes closed!

As I develop and grow in my ministry and my job, I am starting to realise just how important friendship is. Humans were never made to be alone, to be individualistic. We were made to be in community, both with God and with each other. And from where I’m standing, it seems that individualistic society is partly to blame for the break down of the world. You may or may not agree, but I’ve found that it’s when I’m in bother in my personal life that I open up to others, to friends. I lean on them and ask for support. Of course, friends are there for good times too, but relationships come with ups and downs.

Ministry can feel very lonely and isolating. I’m not a vicar just yet and may have a long way to go before being one, but in my current role, I exercise some sort of ministry. And I can feel lonely. Many of my friends are still students or have “proper” jobs, as one checkout operator at Tesco explained to me the other day. And it’s true. Teachers, nurses, business people, civil service workers, doctors… I know many people who have normal and proper jobs. Ministry doesn’t seem normal or proper a lot of the time!

Which is why I’ve been so grateful over the last few weeks for spending time with friends, eating together, being normal together. Jesus didn’t do it on his own. He had companions, disciples, friends. He loved community. He loved relationship.

Ministry means very little if community and relationship isn’t intertwined within it. In fact, it isn’t ministry at all. Maybe all of us who are in ministry need to stop going to business like meetings and go and hang out in a pub or other social setting and make some friends in stead. Just saying.

Dean Roberts

Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre. Read More @